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College Football Bowl Thursday: Three Matchups Between Top 25 Teams Today

Two of today’s four games feature Pac-12 teams.

Pac 12 Championship - Stanford v USC
David Shaw leads the Stanford Cardinal against the TCU Horned Frogs tonight in the Alamo Bowl.
Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Today’s bowl game may just prove to be the best matchups prior to the games on New Year’s Day. That’s because three of today’s four games feature matchups between two teams in the Top 25.

The action starts off at 10:30 am with the Military Bowl. This game should really appeals to the Washington, DC area as it features the Navy Midshipmen, playing in their home stadium, against the Virginia Cavaliers. On top of the obvious Maryland vs. Virginia angle, this game also features two very good head coaches in Virginia’s Bronco Mendenhall and Navy’s Ken Niumatalolo.

If the Cavaliers can stop the Midshipmen rushing attack, look for the Hoos to come away with the victory. But, if Virginia’s rush defense does it’s best impression of UCLA’s rush defense, the Midshipmen could win this one. The over-under on the number of passes by Navy is 1.

Today’s second game is the Camping World Bowl from Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida. This game features the #22 Virginia Tech Hokies against the #19 Oklahoma State Cowboys. I like that this game features a pair of teams that are ranked so close together. Hopefully, it should produce a really good football game.

On one hand, I think Va. Tech’s Justin Fuente is one of the best young coaches in the game, but, on the other hand, I think Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy doesn’t get as much credit as he deserves for what he’s done in Stillwater.

The day caps off with two 6 pm games featuring Pac-12 teams. In the Alamo Bowl, the #13 Stanford Cardinal faces the #15 TCU Horned Frogs. This is another matchup between two of the best coaches in the game. Of course, Stanford has David Shaw who has kept the Cardinal in the national conversation after taking over from Jim Harbaugh while TCU has Gary Patterson, who has turned the Fort Worth school into a national power. In fact, Patterson’s development of the program has resulted in the team moving from the WAC to Conference USA to the Mountain West and, finally, the Big 12.

Will this game prove to be essentially a home game for the Horned Frogs? Well, only TCU fans only need to travel about 265 miles from Fort Worth to the Alamodome for tonight’s game. So, I’d be surprised if there isn’t a strong turnout.

The other 6 pm game is the Holiday Bowl in San Diego between the #16 Michigan State Spartans and the #18 Washington State Cougars. Personally, I find it ridiculous that Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott has allowed two of the Pac-12 bowl games to be played at the same exact time. Isn’t one of the purposes of bowl games to expose the conference to as many people as possible? Well, then again, Larry Scott doesn’t seem to get that.

As far as the game goes, this game features two really good coaches in the Spartans’ Mark Dantonio and the Cougars’ Mike Leach.

On an unrelated note, Mike Leach, who has says fun things at Pac-12 Media Days in August, has penned an article for The Players’ Tribune in which he sounds off on 5 non-football-related topics. He sounds off on topics like raccoons, pizza toppings, vacation destinations, sports movies and lawyers, but, in typical Leach fashion, I think he gave us about 5 years’ worth of questions for his Media Day interview. The article is well worth your time today.

Here’s all the info you need to watch today’s games:

College Football Bowl Schedule for Thursday, December 28, 2017

Date Bowl Venue Location Matchup Time (PT) TV Streaming
Date Bowl Venue Location Matchup Time (PT) TV Streaming
Thursday, December 28 Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium Annapolis, MD Virginia vs. Navy 10:30 AM ESPN
Thursday, December 28 Camping World Bowl Camping World Stadium Orlando, FL #22 Virginia Tech vs. #19 Oklahoma State 2:15 PM ESPN
Thursday, December 28 Valero Alamo Bowl Alamodome San Antonio, TX #13 Stanford vs. #15 TCU 6:00 PM ESPN
Thursday, December 28 San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl SDCCU Stadium San Diego, CA #18 Washington State vs. #16 Michigan State 6:00 PM FS1

This is your College Football Thursday Bowl Game open thread.

Go Bruins!